Samsung returns to the charge with its flagship product in the world of storage, the 980 Pro Gen 4 SSD, renewed in appearance, of which we will tell you some details in our review. Yes, because – after some time – the famous manufacturer comes up with a model with a built-in heatsink.
980 Pro-Samsung Samsung 980 Pro SSD
It is simply a heat sink, a small external structure to the SSD for those unfamiliar with it. The product is perfect for PC and PlayStation 5 use – which is where we stressed the most. Compared to the past, it does not change in content but only in form.
We always have a standard M.2 2280 drive, with a removable heatsink, for full compatibility even with portable solutions. Since the PS5 does not have a heatsink in the M.2 slot, this solution is perfect for console use.
So, without too much delay, let’s dive into the performance.
A small and powerful unit
As mentioned at the beginning of our review, the Samsung 980 Pro SSD is a standard M.2 2280 drive. The only difference compared to its cousin is the presence of an integrated heatsink. This brings the final thickness to around 8.5mm, making it fully compatible with PlayStation 5 and PC, but not Xbox Series X.
The integrated heatsink is optimised thanks to data centre technology that allows heat to be easily and effectively dissipated from the internal controller chip. The SSD is currently available in 1 TB and 2 TB denominations. Besides that, we have nothing new from an aesthetic point of view.
Overall, this is a PCIe Gen 4 drive that features read and write speeds of 7000MB / s and 5000MB / s, as well as a 4K random performance of one million IOPS. We also find 1GB of DDR4 cache, Samsung’s high-quality TLC NAND memory and a full five-year warranty.
Still, the 980 Pro has 144 GB of allocated space at the cache level to work in fast SLC mode. This is not the best on the market, but the performance obtained was more than satisfactory.
A few details for fans
The SSD is four times more powerful than the Phoenix, equipped with an Elpis controller. It is produced using an 8 nm process. Samsung’s sixth-generation V-NAND flash chips accompany the Elpis controller. The new V-NAND adds 40% more cells than the previous 9-layer single-stack structure.
Despite being a Gen 4 SSD, the 980 Pro is backwards compatible with the PCIe 3.0 interface. Of course, performance is significantly reduced using this unit on Gen 3 structures.
In detail, we are talking about 3500 MB / s in reading and up to 3470 MB / s in writing. Random speeds drop to 680,000 IOPS (2TB) read and 630,000 IOPS write.
To conclude, the Samsung 980 Pro also features an advanced Intelligent TurboWrite 2.0 technology: compared to the previous Intelligent TurboWrite, it guarantees a buffer up to 5 times larger.
Installing the Samsung 980 Pro on Playstation 5 is simple
During our Samsung 980 Pro review, we decided to do some testing on the PlayStation 5. The installation of the product on the new generation Sony console is really simple and does not require special attention: the only tool you will need is a small Phillips screwdriver.
To mount the unit easily, you will have to remove the bulkhead of the PS5, leveraging the corner of the console (find our dedicated guide here). After lifting it slightly, slide the bulkhead in the opposite direction and remove it. Once removed, you will need to remove a small metal plate covering the M.2 slot. In this case, you just have to unscrew the screw and remove the plate. Inserting the SSD into the slot is quick and easy. Remove the screw you find inside the space, insert the SSD by hooking it on the opposite side and tighten.
Once everything has been reassembled, you can turn on your PlayStation 5. Upon startup, you will be prompted to format the drive. Follow the procedure, and you will be ready to take advantage of the SSD 980 Pro.
Straight to the benchmark analysis
To give you an idea of how the Samsung 980 Pro behaved, we decided to show you some benchmarks performed on our PC configuration. We used the integrated heatsink without using the one on the motherboard to avoid “dirtying” the numbers.
For our tests, we used AS SSD, ATTO Disk, CrystalDiskMark and PCMark 10 and compared the results with other SSDs in the same range. The data obtained was good, although not as excellent as we expected, but let’s go into more detail.
ATTO Disk Benchmark on Samsung 980 Pro
ATTO Disk is a sequential test in which we got to see what the numbers and speeds reached were. We didn’t get what the box described, but we came close enough. Instead of 7000MB / s read, we got 6300MB / s; instead of 5000MB / s write, we saw 4880MB / s.
AS SSD Benchmark on Samsung 980 Pro
As for the AS SSD Benchmark, the Samsung 980 Pro SSD achieved a value of 3810.1 in sequential writing and 5004 in sequential reading. In 4K, the numbers have become 213 in writing and 58 in reading.
PCMark 10 Full System Drive on Samsung 980 Pro
A further test was carried out using the PCMark 10 Full System benchmark. In this case, it is a long test, about an hour, which allows, however, to have parameters in line with real programs.
In this case, the Samsung SSD performed very well, winning an excellent position compared to its competitors. In detail, it scored 2716 in the Full System Drive Score and 430 MB / s in Bandwidth.
CrystalDiskMark Benchmark on Samsung 980 Pro
Finally, we did a test with the well-known CrystalDiskMark, testing the performance both in sequential write/read and in 4K. The results obtained are good, especially in 4K. In detail, we obtained 5002 MB / s in sequential writing and 6747 MB / s in sequential reading. As for the performance in 4K, however, we have 246 MB / s in writing and 82 MB / s in reading.
Were we satisfied with the Samsung 980 Pro?
Overall, we were satisfied with the Samsung SSD.
Icon heatsink is interesting, especially when used on consoles. The performance was excellent, both in benchmarks and in everyday use. Installation on the PlayStation 5 was quick and easy, and the product worked without problems. The presence of the integrated heatsink is an important touch, especially for configurations that do not provide the cooling of the M.2 slot. Adequate performance both for archiving and for play.
As for the temperatures, we made use of the Samsung Magician application. We ran some stress tests and checked the unit’s behaviour. At the end of our tests, we got about 22 ° C: a rather low temperature and certainly excellent, especially if we think of a use on consoles.